Improving last-minute fashion

Don’t get caught running to class in your pajamas: There are plenty of ways you can prevent a last-minute fashion disaster.  (credit: Tommy Hofman | Assistant Photo Editor) Don’t get caught running to class in your pajamas: There are plenty of ways you can prevent a last-minute fashion disaster. (credit: Tommy Hofman | Assistant Photo Editor)

The summer before the first year of college, people often try to re-invent themselves: They get daring new haircuts, buy new clothes, and convince themselves that they are not going to be one of those people who look like they rolled out of bed and got hit by a bus on the way to class. However, after a few weeks of school, if classes don’t drain your will to look presentable, a quick look into your permanently empty wallet usually does the trick. Soon, wearing something that doesn’t have “Carnegie Mellon” emblazoned on it prompts people to ask why you dressed up today. If you want to escape this slippery slope or avoid it altogether, here are some tips to being fashionable and economical time- and money-wise.

The best place to start is at the root of the problem: the morning. It’s that God-awful time of day when you feel like you have a coffee hangover from that crazy night at the library. This feeling is magnified if you’re having a hell week: those weeks when you are constantly on edge and your emotions switch between wanting to cry in an abandoned stairwell and wanting to punch the next guy you see in the face. The last thing on your mind is looking presentable, but doing just that might make your week better. Spending a little extra time getting ready in the morning might even be therapeutic. Wear clothes that you feel fantastic in, like your favorite blazer or cute flats, because looking good will make you feel good, too.

The most common excuse heard from people who look like they’re married to that hoodie and sweatpants combo is waking up 10 minutes before class. Next time this happens, stop and look at what you’re wearing. Nobody wants to sit next to — or be seen talking to — the kid who just ran into class in SpongeBob SquarePants PJs; put on some jeans! It will only take five seconds and makes you look infinitely better than running out in pajama bottoms. If you can spare another five seconds, grab a jacket on the way out so you can cover up that embarrassing stained T-shirt you only wear to bed.

Another common excuse: being broke because the money that you would have used to shop was spent on your textbooks. It’s okay: You can upgrade your wardrobe without actually buying new clothes. Just pay attention to what pieces you always wear together and switch it up by mixing and matching. Try wearing that blue shirt with a floral skirt instead of those white shorts you usually wear it with, and it instantly looks like you updated your wardrobe.

But the easiest way to step up your look is jewelry. People underestimate the power of jewelry, but it can really be the thing that makes your look if the rest of your outfit is so-so. For example, if you forgot to do your laundry and all you have is that oversized white T-shirt and old jeans, throwing on a statement necklace or a pair of over-sized hoops can transform your outfit.

The clothes you wear can actually have a positive effect on you and will improve your mood and confidence. You don’t have to look like Kim Kardashian every time you leave your room, but putting in a little extra effort to appreciate yourself in the morning will pay off. Looking good should be for you and not for others — but an occasional compliment on what you’re wearing doesn’t hurt. While it’s inevitable that you will have those days when you look like you got hit by a bus, you have the choice to reduce the number of those days and feel better and have fun in the process.